The 1985 NBA draft redone: Where does 'The Mailman' land?

Published: Friday, May 2 2014 12:34 a.m. MDT

The 1985 draft was one of the deepest and most balanced of all time. There were contributors from the beginning of the draft to as far down as the 160th selection. The ’85 draft was 162 picks over seven rounds with the first round consisting of 24 picks. Of the 162 players selected, 66 of them played in the NBA, according to Basketball-Reference.com. Of those 66 players, Mario Elie (Round seven, 160th overall) was the player taken with the lowest pick to play in the league.

Even with all the talent available, there were still plenty of missed picks in the first round. The team that benefited the most was the Utah Jazz, which ended up with a franchise-building block and one of the best players in team history.

Note: even though Arvydas Sabonis was drafted in the fourth round of the ’85 draft, he isn’t included in this because he was also selected in the ’86 draft by the Portland Trail Blazers and they were the team that retained his rights.

Editor's note: This was originally published in 2014.

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Kuna, ID

I guess if you look at the current situation in the jazz locker room, you'd say the mailman was the greatest thing ever.
But even more important, JERRY SLOAN!
The team made several horrible mistakes the last 10 years.

Tuffy Parker
Salem, UT

Wish Karl would have retired as a Jazz man. 19 seasons with one team would been another remarkable feat to go with all the others.

West Valley, UT


Malone did retire a Jazz man, he came back and signed a 1 day contract to be able to retire a Jazz man.

Seattle, WA

That was a picture of Dale Ellis not Xavier McDaniel... just as an FYI

sandy, UT

Suit him up, it would be an improvement.

Sandy, UT

Karl Malone is the greatest true power forward of all time!

Provo, UT

Sloan proved to be a very good coach but unfortunately he had some growing pains when probably Malone and Stockton were truly at the top of their games (1988-1992). For example, when the Jazz were swept by the Golden State Warriors as Chris Mullin and Manute Bol were chucking up threes. In some ways I wish Frank Layden would have hung around another year or two to coach but so it goes. Layden was brilliant as he took the great 1988 Lakers team to the brink of elimination. I also wish they would have kept A.D. for another year or two to see if Stockton, Malone and A.D. could have co-existed. So while I praise Layden for his coaching, the decision here was perhaps a poor one. The Jazz could never get all the pieces at the right time until they finally had them but ran into Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and of course Phil Jackson all in their playing/coaching primes.

Kuna, ID

I grew up a Portland fan, but fell in love with the jazz in the day.
Sloan is the jazz.

Lehi, UT

I grew up a Utah Jazz fan, but admired the competitive spirit to win, the determination, the intelligence, the personelle were all "Winners" whatever it takes mentality, the toughness, obtaining great players like Damien Lillard, out of the Jazz's backyard, but the Jazz didnt even know Lillard was there, going after Wesley Mathews and taking him from the sleepy Jazz,The Portland Trailblazers are a small market team like the Utah Jazz, but The Portland Trailblazers will to win, compete, fight, whatever it takes! the Jazz had the same, when Larry Miller was alive. In My Book, LARRY MILLER will always be the JAZZ! Larry motivated, and brought the best out others, from Sloan, to Karl, to all different kinds of knot headed NBA players. There should be a very large statue of Larry Miller in downtown Salt lake. Larry did more for the state of Utah "around the board" than anyone ever will. a Legend, a Giant, a Winner. you'd think a little somethin might of rubbed off ..... but, Im not even sensing a pulse of Larry in the rest of his family

Kuna, ID

Larry was great, and a genuine guy. He wore his heart on his sleeve.
But he was the pusher for Karl. Sloan was the mastermind.

Provo, UT

And Frank Layden was the architect. Remember he was the one that drafted Malone, Stockton and perhaps the steal of any draft, Mark Eaton in the fourth round, a round that doesn't even exist. And when the time came he turned the coaching chair over to Sloan who became a great coach in time.

Wellsville, UT

Tough call between Ewing and Malone, but they are definitely, 1 and 2.

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